Forget about shots, slammers and Margaritas, premium Tequilas offer up a unique combination of fruit and spice flavours to enjoy when sipped straight or over ice.
The blue Agave plant is the key to the distinctive flavour of Tequila. This spiky plant grows wild across Mexico but only spirits distilled from agave grown in the volcanic soil of Jalisco state and some surrounding areas can be called Tequila. Spirits made from agave outside of this area is called Mezcal.
It takes between eight and twelve years for an agave plant to reach maturity before it can be harvested by cutting away the leaves leaving the pina, or heart. The fructose sugar rich pina is slowly oven cooked to release the sugars needed for fermentation before being crushed and the juice collected to be fermented and then distilled twice. The result is Blanco tequila, a spicy spirit with bold agave taste and aroma.
This Blanco tequila can then be aged in barrels where it takes on increasingly complex flavours with good reposado or anejo tequilas displaying those wood characteristics. Resposado means rested and these have been aged in oak for between 2 and 12 months and should strike a balance between agave and wood character. Anejo translates as ‘aged’ and these spend a minimum of one year in barrel and display smoother richer flavours.
When buying look out for the term ‘100% agave’, this means the tequila has been made only from the blue agave plant, without the addition of any other juices like cane sugar, and these will show the most smoothness and agave character.
Patron Silver is a great showcase for clean agave flavours, think dried pineapple, citrus and white pepper.
Gran Centenario Anejo is a delicious aged tequila with superbly balanced flavours of complex fruit and spice on a silky smooth body.
Both of these, plus many more, are on offer in our Spirits of the Americas sale.